Fundraising walk honors synagogue shooting victim

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The woman killed by a gunman in April at a Poway synagogue was honored Sunday by an annual charity walk at Liberty Station.

It has been just over a month since 19-year-old gunman John Earnest burst into Chabad of Poway and opened fire on the people inside. Lori Kaye was shot and killed that day while protecting Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was one of three other individuals injured in the shooting.

Kaye was honored by one of her favorite charities, Friendship Circle of San Diego, as hundreds gathered for its annual Friendship Walk at Liberty Station Sunday morning. According to Goldstein, Kaye volunteered her time often to help the group, which provides support and resources for families with special needs children.

Goldstein, who was a close friend of Kaye's, has been supporting Friendship Circle since its first walk in 2007. “She was right here at this place last year at registration, helping greeting everyone. She’s still doing that,” Goldstein said.

“Today is such a great opportunity, not just for Lori’s walk, but it drives the message home that out of tragedy we bring goodness and kindness,” Goldstein said. "Every footstep that we walk here today is bringing more light to the world. Lori in heaven looks down with a huge smile."

Led by Executive Director Elisheva Green, Friendship Circle had hoped to raise $100,000 for families in need during Sunday's event. By noon, donations had exceeded $75,000.

“My mother was born with an innate ability to give and to see the good in all people," said Kaye's daughter, Hannah, who also participated in the event. "She was born with it. I think that my mother was blessed to be a part of the Chabad of Poway community, and I’m sure when she met Elisheva and she learned of the organization her spirit and her heart and her soul connected to the message, which is to uplift all people."

Hannah said the event's fundraising success was a testament to her mother's kindness and generosity, a legacy she says will live on.

“My mother loved connections. She was ecstatic to be friends with other people -- she was ecstatic to be a people person -- and so I think this event today exemplified both my mother’s legacy and also just shows such an incredible light on the Friendship Circle,” Hannah said.

If you’d like to donate or learn more about Friendship Circle of San Diego, please visit

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